White House threatens to veto ‘reckless and irresponsible’ House spending bill
The White House on Saturday said President Obama would veto the House GOP’s latest stopgap spending measure.
It said Obama would veto the bill because of the inclusion of language delaying ObamaCare and eliminating a medical device tax, while faulting the House for not moving a simple funding measure approved by the Senate on Friday.
“Rather than taking up that legislation, the House proposes amendments that advance a narrow ideological agenda and threaten the nation’s economy,” the White House budget office said in a statement.
“By including extraneous measures that have no place in a government funding bill and that the president and Senate already made clear are unacceptable, House Republicans are pushing the government toward shutdown,” it said. “If the president was presented with H.J. Res 59, as amended by these amendments, he would veto the bill.”
Before the veto threat, White House press secretary Jay Carney called the GOP measure “reckless and irresponsible.”
Any Republican who votes for the bill is “voting for a shutdown,” he said in a statement.
The House is expected to approve the measure Saturday night. The government will shut down without a deal on Tuesday.
In his statement, Carney criticized Republicans for repeatedly trying to attack the healthcare law, noting they have held more than 40 votes to defund, delay or repeal it.
“The president has shown that he is willing to improve the health care law and meet Republicans more than halfway to deal with our fiscal challenges, but he will not do so under threats of a government shutdown that will hurt our economy,” he said.
With their new bill, Republicans see a strategic advantage in turning attention to the Democratically-controlled Senate, and forcing vulnerable Democrats up for re-election in 2014 to decide how to vote on the ObamaCare delay.
“It’s up to the Senate to pass it and stop a government shutdown,” Boehner said on Saturday.
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called the vote “pointless.”
Carney said ultimately, Republicans would be held responsible for a shutdown that seemed increasingly likely.
“Republicans in Congress had the opportunity to pass a routine, simple continuing resolution that keeps the government running for a few more weeks,” he said. “But instead, Republicans decided they would rather make an ideological point by demanding the sabotage of the health care law.”
Russell Berman, Molly Hooper, and Mike Lillis contributed.
This story was posted at 5:36 p.m. and updated at 6:17 p.m.